Stop scratching your head with VoIP service options, try 3 simple questions to pick the right small business phone solution

So you’ve decided you need a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service provider or maybe your boss has tasked you with finding the right VoIP service company. Before you start searching for the cheapest VoIP provider in the world or the best office phone systems offered online, ask yourself these 3 simple questions:

Question #1: What level of IT skills do you or your staff have?

 

If you have to ask “what does voice over ip mean?” then this is the article for you.

Don’t let the VoIP provider websites fool  you, it’s never as easy as they make it sound. Sure you can sign up for a new Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) , purchase your own VoIP phones and then go about setting up your cloud extensions, updating firmware, creating dial plans, setting up your IVR, ring groups, etc. And you can troubleshoot your Internet and Intranet while you’re at it, but we all know that if you don’t know what these terms mean, then you shouldn’t be doing this by yourself.

Choosing the right PBX system for a small business is not as easy as picking a personal mobile service plan. Your best bet is to contact a local telephone systems professional in your area, someone with a good reputation and that can give you good advice and followup service.

Question #2: How good is your internet connection?

Well, if you’re feeling good about your PBX & IT skills then this is the very next question to answer.  Your call quality will only be as good and reliable as your internet connection. Checking your bandwidth on a standard internet speed test isn’t enough. You will have to check for latency, jitter and packet loss. 

Be aware that even if you get a tool to run a test for these factors, you may also have to check your firewall rules for other issues that can arise to create unstable call quality results

Question #3: Is my LAN infrastructure ready for VoIP?

OK, so here is another one many people trip up on. You go online and buy your VoIP service, get your phones delivered and now what? Where do I plug them in? Oops! We are all on Wifi!

Yes, this one would have been obvious to a telecom or network service provider but you decided to go it alone. Your phones don’t do WiFi and you actually never even touched your Wireless Access Point (AP), it’s just something your ISP installed. Just stop and be humble about it, you need IT support. Call them and be done.

You can also find a local Structured Cabling Company, they will deploy cable drops to your wall that you can plug into, it might even improve the network performance on your laptop or desktop computer. If you rather go with WiFi, then find a local WiFi  network services provider.

If you already have a network port, then your phone and PC might have to share the same RJ45 port. You may have to setup a VLAN to get this work. If you don’t know what a VLAN is, call us or someone with networking knowledge in your area.

Summary

Although you can always try to do it yourself, the technology needs of your small business are best left to the professionals. Your time is better spent finding a local business phone system service provider in your area and letting them handle it. Focus your skills on locating the best companies for the job,.